nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2015‒12‒28
twenty-two papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Empirical studies on the impact of ICT usage on employment in Europe By Federico Biagi; Martin Falk
  2. The impact of the European Emission Trading Scheme on multiple measures of economic performance By Giovanni Marin; Claudia Pellegrin; Marianna Marino
  3. The role of geographical proximity for project performance - Evidence from the German "Leading-Edge Cluster Competition" By Uwe Cantner; Holger Graf; Susanne Hinzmann
  4. Child care, maternal employment, and children’s school outcomes. An analysis of Italian data. By Del Boca, Daniela; Pasqua, Silvia; Suardi, Simona
  5. The Impact of 'A - Day' on Executive Pensions and Pay for Performance By Damon Morris; Ian Gregory-Smith; Brian Main; Alberto Montagnoli; Peter Wright
  6. The Impact of Online Sales on Consumers and Firms: Evidence from Household Appliances By Nestor Duch-Brown; Lukasz Grzybowski; Frank Verboven
  7. The passing-on of price overcharges in European competition damages actions: A matter of causation and an issue of policy By Lombardi, Claudio
  8. Geographic Fragmentation in the EU Market for e-Books: The case of Amazon By Georgios Alaveras; Estrella Gomez Herrera; Bertin Martens
  9. The influence of an up-front experiment on respondents' recording behaviour in payment diaries: Evidence from Germany By Sieber, Susann; Schmidt, Tobias
  10. Feeling Useless: The Effect of Unemployment on Mental Health in the Great Recession By Lídia Farré; Francesco Fasani; Hannes Mueller
  11. Happy Birthday, You’re Fired! The Effects of an Age-Dependent Minimum Wage on Youth Employment Flows in the Netherlands By Jan Kabátek
  12. The macro-economic impact of e-commerce in the EU Digital Single Market By Melisande Cardona; Nestor Duch-Brown; Joseph Francois; Bertin Martens; Fan Yang
  13. The Relationship between Establishment Training and the Retention of Older Workers: Evidence from Germany By Peter B. Berg; Mary K. Hamman; Matthew M. Piszczek; Christopher J. Ruhm
  14. Consumer perceptions of cross-border e-commerce in the EU By Melisande Cardona; Nestor Duch-Brown; Bertin Martens
  15. Regional differences in gender wage gaps in Poland By Aleksandra Majchrowska; Paweł Strawiński
  16. Innovation Capabilities and Financing Constraints of Family Firms By Schäfer, Dorothea; Stephan, Andreas; Mosquera, Jenniffer Solórzano
  17. The Effect of the Euro Competition Over Innovation Decisions and Labor Productivity By TESTA, Giuseppina
  19. Do Wealth Shocks Affect Health? New Evidence from the Housing Boom By Eleonora Fichera; John Gathergood
  20. Film availability in Netflix country stores in the EU By Michail Batikas; Estrella Gomez Herrera; Bertin Martens
  22. Home Ownership and Household Portfolio Choice By Thomas Michielsen; Remco Mocking; Sander van Veldhuizen

  1. By: Federico Biagi (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Martin Falk (Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO))
    Abstract: This report has three sections and a key feature of our empirical analysis is the use of several types of advanced ICT activities such as enterprise resource planning systems, mobile internet access and e-commerce practices. The first section presents new empirical evidence regarding the impact of ICT/E-commerce activities on industry performance in Europe measured as employment and labour productivity growth. The data consists of multi-country industry level data for 14 European countries for the period 2002-2010. The main result of this section is that the increase in ICT/e-commerce activities over time has not lead to a decline in jobs. This holds true for both manufacturing and service industries. In contrast, the different types of ICT activities are significantly related to labour productivity. However, the sign and significance of the relationships vary across different types of ICT activities and also vary over time with lower magnitude for the more recent period. The second section looks at the relationship between several indicators of ICT usage and digitalisation, and the relative demand for highly skilled workers. The data is based on two-digit industry data for seven European countries for the period 2002-2010. For manufacturing industries, our estimates show that broadband connected employees, diffusion of mobile internet, use of enterprise resource planning systems and electronic invoicing are all significantly positively related to the industries’ skill intensity. For service industries only mobile internet usage is significant. These estimates indicate that the increase in ERP systems during the period studied accounts for 25% of the increase in the share of workers with a tertiary degree across manufacturing industries and countries. The results are robust with respect to the estimation method and when accounting for endogeneity of ICT. The third section investigates the relationship between technological and organisational innovations, and ICT usage/e-commerce and internet technologies. The data is based on disaggregated data by firm size/industry for 12 European countries for the period 2002-2010. The empirical results show that the sales share of new market products is significantly positively related with both the percentage of workers with mobile internet access and e-procurement activities. Sharing electronic data also contributes to product innovations. We also find that organisational change and enterprise resource planning
    Keywords: Labour Demand, Technological Change, ICT, employment
    JEL: J23 J24 O33 L86
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Giovanni Marin (IRCrES-CNR, Milano, Italy; SEEDS, Ferrara, Italy.); Claudia Pellegrin (CEMI-CDM-EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.); Marianna Marino (Department of Strategy and Innovation, ICN Business School, Nancy/Metz; France and Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), Université de Lorraine, France)
    Abstract: The European emission trading scheme (EU ETS) has introduced a price for carbon and has thus led to an additional cost for companies that are regulated by the scheme. There is a growing body of empirical literature that investigates the effects of the EU ETS on firm economic performance. However, the results found to date are mixed. The objective of this paper is to provide empirical evidence on the effect of the EU ETS on economic performance at the firm level. Differently from the previous literature, we test the effect of the EU ETS on a larger set of indicators of economic performance: value added, turnover, employment, investment, labour productivity, total factor productivity and markup. Moreover, we evaluate the extent to which the impact of the EU ETS differs depending on some observable features of firms. Our results, based on a large panel of European firms, provide a comprehensive picture of the economic impact of the EU ETS in its first and second phases of implementation. The evidence suggests that the EU ETS had a positive impact on the scale of treated firms, whereas it had a negative impact on scale-free aspects of economic performance.
    Keywords: European Emission Trading Scheme, economic performance, difference-in-differences, emission intensity, allowance trading, environmental patents
    JEL: Q52 Q58
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Uwe Cantner (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Holger Graf (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Susanne Hinzmann (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
    Abstract: The role of geographical proximity in fostering connections and knowledge flows between innovative actors ranks among the most controversial themes in the research of innovation systems, regional networks and new economic geography. While there is ample empirical evidence on the constituent force of co-location for the formation of research alliances, little attention has been paid to the actual consequences of geographical concentration of alliance partners for the subsequent performance of these linkages. In this paper we address this underexplored issue and aim to complement the rare examples of studies on the relevance of geographical proximity for research outputs. We utilize original and unique survey data from collaborative R&D projects that were funded within the "Leading-Edge Cluster Competition" - the main national cluster funding program in Germany in recent years. We find that the perception of the necessity of spatial proximity for project success is rather heterogeneous among the respondents of the funded projects. Moreover, the relationship between geographical distance and project success is by no means univocal and is mediated by various technological, organizational and institutional aspects. Our findings strongly support the assumption that the nature of knowledge involved determines the degree to which collaborators are reliant on being closely located to each other. The relevance of spatial proximity increases in exploration contexts when knowledge is novel and the innovation endeavor is more radical while this effect is less pronounced for projects with a stronger focus on basic research. Moreover, geographical proximity and project satisfaction foster cross- fertilization effects of LECC projects.
    Keywords: geographical proximity, collaboration, performance, innovation policy
    JEL: O3 O38 L14 R1
    Date: 2015–12–18
  4. By: Del Boca, Daniela; Pasqua, Silvia; Suardi, Simona (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the impact of mothers' employment status and formal child care attendance during early childhood on children’s school grades later in life, controlling for socio-demographic factors. We use the year 2008 of the Italian ISFOL-PLUS dataset. The dataset provides information on each respondent’s demographic characteristics, as well as a set of retrospective information on the individual’s school grades at the end of junior high school, high school, and university; along with (in the 2008 wave only) information about the respondent’s formal child care attendance and mother’s employment status when he or she was under age of three. We estimate the effects of maternal employment and child care attendance on the probability that the respondent would have high grades at the end of high school. Since maternal employment and child care attendance are likely to be endogenously determined, we use an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach. Our empirical results show that while having a mother who was working (during early childhood) had no significant effect on an individual’s high school grades, child care attendance had a positive and significant effect. These results have potential policy implications. As maternal employment does not seem to negatively affect the development process of children, while child care attendance appears to have a positive impact on academic achievement, policy makers should consider expanding the availability of child care, and promoting women's participation in the labour market.
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Damon Morris (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Ian Gregory-Smith (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Brian Main (Business School, University of Edinburgh); Alberto Montagnoli (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Peter Wright (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the ‘A-day’ pensions simplification legislation introduced in the UK in 2006. This reform exogenously affected the cost of pension provision for firms whose executives had accumulated pensions benefits in excess of the prescribed limit. We find a strong reaction in the form of pension provision in a sample of UK executive directors. After A-day, many executives saw their defined benefit scheme replaced with supplementary cash payments. This had the unintended consequence of significantly decreasing the relationship between executive pay and firm performance for those executives affected by the reform.
    Keywords: Executive compensation; Executive pensions; Pay for Performance; A-day
    JEL: J32 J33 M12 M52
    Date: 2015–12
  6. By: Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Lukasz Grzybowski (Telecom Paris Tech); Frank Verboven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate a differentiated products demand model to ask three questions regarding the introduction of e-commerce. First, we ask whether the online distribution channel has increased total sales, or only diverted sales from traditional channels. We find that there is some market expansion effect but also a considerable sales diversion. Second, we ask who benefited most from online sales: consumers or firms. We find that consumers benefited more, which is entirely due to the appearance of an additional distribution channel and not due to increased competition. Third, we ask how the online channel has affected European market integration. We find that international price differences for identical products are larger in the traditional channel than online. However, there is still substantial market segmentation in the online channel between the EU countries. The introduction of e-commerce therefore did not influence price levels and price dispersion in the traditional channel.
    Keywords: e-commerce, online sales, substitution, consumer welfare, nested logit
    JEL: L13 L68 L86
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Lombardi, Claudio
    Abstract: This paper analyses the functioning of the passing-on of price overcharges in damages actions for breaches of EU competition law and aims to give a critical appraisal of the present regulatory framework in Europe. In particular, this paper maintains that the European Directive 2014/104, in order to facilitate the claims of damages caused by the infringement of European competition rules and to provide full compensation for those damages, has adopted a complex set of rules placing the burden of proof on the party that has, assumedly, the best access to evidence on the relevant issue. Moreover, it is noted that these rules give a strict definition of the overcharge harm and of its diffusion through the market chain. In this connection, it is argued that the objectives of the Directive are partly compromised by the fact that this restrictive approach fails to take into consideration a number of other subjects who may potentially be damaged by the passing-on of the overcharge harm. Secondly, this paper maintains that the set of rules laid down by the Directive 2014/104 creates a system of presumptions, which, contrary to its intended purpose, is likely to discourage damages actions. Finally, this paper argues that actions by indirect purchasers based on the passing-on of the overcharge will still need to heavily rely on domestic civil law rules in particular on local principles of causation and evidence.
    Keywords: European competition law,damages actions,private enforcement,passing-on,indirect purchaser,passing-on defence,Directive 2014/104,causation,civil liability
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Georgios Alaveras (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Estrella Gomez Herrera (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This study examines geographical market segmentation in the market for e-books in the EU, based on data from the Amazon Kindle e-books store, the market leader. Residents in all EU countries have access to the Amazon US Kindle store. However, access to Amazon's 6 e-book stores in the EU (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands) is restricted to residents in each of these countries and in 4 neighbouring countries with which they share a language. There is no cross-border store access between these 6 countries. Because e-book catalogues are 93% overlapping between these 6 stores, cross-border access restrictions do not significantly affect cross-border availability in the EU6+4=EU10. Even for the remaining EU18 cross-border availability is very high because they have access to nearly all e-books in the EU6 stores via the Amazon US store. They have no direct access to the EU6 e-book stores however. Lifting digital access walls for Amazon e-book stores in the EU would result in a small increase only in the book titles available to EU consumers. E-book prices vary between Amazon EU stores, and between EU and US e-book stores. Currently, EU10 consumers can find price arbitrage opportunities between their local store and the US store only. Consumers in the remaining EU18 can buy from the US store only. Lifting geographical access restrictions would increase price arbitrage options, especially for EU18 e-book consumers. However, the welfare impact is difficult to predict as it might lead to increased price convergence, with winners and losers. E-book prices excluding VAT appear to be negatively correlated with VAT rates. This reduces consumer price variation despite variations in VAT rates across countries. The discrepancy between universal access to the US e-book store and geographically restricted access to the same e-books in EU stores indicates that access is driven by commercial considerations rather than objective legal barriers related to the EU copyright management regime. Market segmentation piggy-backs on but is not driven by the copyright regime.
    Keywords: Amazon, e-books, geographical market segmentation, EU market, electronic publishing
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Sieber, Susann; Schmidt, Tobias
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the recording behaviour of German consumers in a one week diary on their point-of-sales expenditures. We are particularly interested in the effect of a behavioural experiment, eliciting respondents' risk preferences, on their recording behaviour. In the experiment, run shortly before the consumers start to fill in the diary, the consumers have the choice between receiving a sure payment of 10 euro and participating in a game. If they opt for playing the game they roll a die and either win 20 euro or nothing. We ask whether respondents' recording behaviour differs depending on whether individuals who do roll the die lose or win. We argue that winners may attach a more positive feeling to the survey than losers and therefore exhibit more commitment to the diary, e.g. by reporting better quality data. Beyond providing evidence on the effect of conducting up-front experiments in representative surveys our results also contribute to the literature on incentives. For participants who roll the die, the experiment can be seen as a tool to randomly assign an incentive to respondents. Our results indicate that the outcome of the game has an impact on the quantity of transactions recorded, but does not affect other aspects of data quality. It also has a negligible impact on substantive measures like the cash share.
    Keywords: incentives,risk experiments,payment diary,data quality
    JEL: C83 D12 E41
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Lídia Farré (Universitat de Barcelona, IAE (CSIC) and MOVE); Francesco Fasani (Queen Mary University of London, IAE (CSIC) and MOVE); Hannes Mueller (IAE (CSIC), Barcelona GSE and MOVE)
    Abstract: This article documents a strong connection between unemployment and mental disorders using data from the Spanish National Health Survey. We exploit the collapse of the construction sector to identify the causal effect of job loss. Our results suggest that an increase of the unemployment rate by 10 percent due to collapse of the sector raised mental disorders in the affected population by 3 percent. We argue that the large size of this effect responds to the fact that the construction sector was at the centre of the macroeconomic shock. As a result, workers exposed to the negative employment shock faced very low chances of re-entering employment. We show that this led to long unemployment spells, hopelessness and feelings of uselessness.
    Keywords: Mental health, Great recession, Unemployment, Spain
    JEL: I10 J60 C26
    Date: 2015–12
  11. By: Jan Kabátek (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; Institute for the Student of Labor (IZA); Netspar)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the age-dependent minimum wage on youth employment flows in the Netherlands. The Dutch minimum wage for workers aged 15-23 is defined as a step-wise increasing function of a worker’s calendar age. At the age of 23, workers become eligible for the “adult” minimum wage which does not increase further. This creates an incentive for firms to discriminate against employees on the basis of their age, substituting more expensive older workers with younger ones. In order to grasp the size of these effects, I analyze monthly flows in and out of employment using administrative records for the entire youth population of the Netherlands. I account for the time remaining until workers’ next birthdays, exploiting the fact that firms are facing a sharp discontinuity in labor costs in the month when a worker turns one year older. The results show a significant increase in job separation around the time of this discontinuity: the probability of job separation increases by 1.1% in the three calendar months which are closest to a worker’s next birthday. This effect exhibits substantial heterogeneity with respect to a worker’s age, showing that young and inexperienced workers are more likely to be affected by the discontinuities. The size of the effect also varies by the sector of employment, being particularly large for supermarket employees. Job accession peaks just after workers’ birthdays, representing both entry of the workers with higher reservation wages and reemployment of the workers whose jobs are dissolved around the time of the discontinuity. Classification-J23, J31, J38, M51
    Keywords: Minimum wage, age-dependency, labor market flows
    Date: 2015–12
  12. By: Melisande Cardona (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Joseph Francois (World Trade Institute); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Fan Yang (Hohenheim University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the economic impact of a change in retail technology - the shift from offline to online shopping – and a change in policy – measures to reduce the barriers to online trade perceived by consumers and retailers. Contrary to the prevalent micro-economic partial equilibrium consumer modelling approach to e-commerce, we use a macro-economic general equilibrium model that brings together the impact on consumers as well as on producers. We use survey data on cross-border e-commerce between EU Member States to estimate the implied cross-border trade cost reduction when consumers move from offline to online consumption as well as the implied costs of perceived regulatory barriers to e-commerce. We distinguish between cross-border and domestic trade costs effects. We find that cross-bordere-commerce reduces trade costs compared to offline trade. Increased price competition squeezes domestic retail price margins and has a negative output effect in that sector (-2.6%). However, the resulting retail efficiency gains have a positive effect on production in other sectors (between 0.9 and 2.6%) and on household consumption (+1.07%). The combined macro-economic effect of these transmission channels adds 0.14% to EU GDP. Additional policy measures to facilitate cross-border e-commerce between EU Member States could add another 0.3% to household consumption and 0.04% to GDP, or 0.03% in the more conservative estimate. The relatively weak GDP effect in comparison with the production and consumption effects indicates that the shift from offline to online retail induces considerable welfare redistribution from retailing to other sectors and to households, more so than a production effect.
    Keywords: e-commerce, online trade, cross-border trade, international online trade, trade costs, trade barriers
    JEL: F14 F47
    Date: 2015–09
  13. By: Peter B. Berg; Mary K. Hamman; Matthew M. Piszczek; Christopher J. Ruhm
    Abstract: In the coming years, a substantial portion of Germany’s workforce will retire, making it difficult for businesses to meet human capital needs. Training older workers may be a successful strategy for managing this demographic transition. This study examines relationships between establishment training programs, wages, and retirement among older men and women. Using unique matched establishment-employee data from Germany, the authors find that when establishments offer special training programs targeted at older workers, women—and especially lower wage women—are less likely to retire. Results suggest this relationship may be due to greater wage growth. For men, findings suggest establishment offer of inclusion in standard training programs may improve retention of low wage men, but analysis of pre-existing differences in establishment retirement patterns suggests this relationship may not be causal. Our research suggests targeted training programs likely play an important role in retaining and advancing careers of low wage older women.
    JEL: J15 J18 J2 J21 J24 J26
    Date: 2015–11
  14. By: Melisande Cardona (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report presents empirical evidence about the obstacles that European consumers face when trying to buy online goods and services in other EU Member States. It relies on data from a consumer survey carried out in February-March 2015 in the EU28. By comparing named websites with respondents’ answers on the location of web shops, we find that 77% correctly assess whether a website is located domestically or in a foreign country. We also find that survey results are biased because cross-border purchases are under-reported. In addition, the report finds that prices, variety and transaction costs are strong drivers to shift consumer purchases of goods from offline to online shops, as predicted by economic theory. Consumers’ perceptions of risk still hold them back from online transactions, which leaves some margin for policy makers to improve the regulatory and institutional setting. The results are less conclusive for online access to digital media content and for shifting online purchases from domestic to foreign markets.
    JEL: D12
    Date: 2015–06
  15. By: Aleksandra Majchrowska (University of Lodz; National Bank of Poland,); Paweł Strawiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: The paper aims to estimate the adjusted gender wage gaps in Poland and in each of the 16 NUTS2 Polish regions using the new harmonised dataset of wages of individuals in 2010. The results show that the total gender wage gap in Poland, estimated with new dataset, amounts to 15.7% and indicate that the previous estimates based on the Polish Labour Force Survey data are upward biased and the estimates based on the Structure of Wages and Salaries data are downward biased. Moreover, the authors show that part of the differences in wages between men and women in Poland is due to differences in the employment structure. Gender wage gap corrected for the segregation bias decreases to 14.3%. There is significant variation among regions – estimates of corrected gender wage gap vary from 24% in Opolskie to 1% in Swietokrzyskie region. The differences in gender wage gap across regions are mainly due to different employment structure by ownership sector and occupational groups.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, Poland, regional labour markets
    JEL: J31 R23 J16
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Schäfer, Dorothea (DIW Berlin and CeFEO at Jönköping International Business School); Stephan, Andreas (Jönköping International Business School and CESIS at KTH Stockholm); Mosquera, Jenniffer Solórzano (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: Using the 2007 Mannheim innovation survey, we investigate whether family firms are more financially constrained than other firms and how this affects both innovation input as well as innovation outcomes such as market and firm novelties or process innovations. Based on the CDM framework, estimation of the recursive system of equations shows that family businesses are more likely to be constrained and have, on average, lower innovation input. Surprisingly, however, this does not reduce their innovation outcomes as, on average, family firms have the same level of innovation outcomes as nonfamily firms.
    Keywords: Innovation; Capability; Financing Constraints; Family Firms; CDM
    JEL: D30 G32 O32
    Date: 2015–12–18
  17. By: TESTA, Giuseppina (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy)
    Abstract: The growing competition from the euro, the Eastern enlargement, and the BRIC nations has attracted increasing attention by governments in Europe like in Italy. In this paper we have investigated the effects that such scenario has on innovation decision of Italian manufacturing firms. Using data from UniCredit Surveys conducted in Italy over the period 1995-2006 we explore the influence of the euro competition on innovation decisions controlling for a set of variables, ranging from export behaviour, family management and size. We find the euro competition to significantly affect innovation decisions. Such effects are different for high-tech firms and low-tech firms and for family-managed and non-family-managed firms.
    Keywords: Euro; Innovation; Italian manufacturing
    JEL: L25 L60 O32
    Date: 2015–12–14
  18. By: Maryna Tverdostup; Jaan Masso
    Abstract: This paper extends the earlier literature on the effects of return migration by studying selection and labour market performance in terms of the wages of young returnees in particular. The topic is motivated by young people’s various labour market issues and their high exposure to the consequences of the recent financial crisis. We use the Estonian Labour Force Survey data and the Estonian Population and Housing Census 2011 data in combination with the Estonian Tax and Customs Office data on individual payroll taxes. The econometric analysis focuses on the selection to temporary migration and estimation of wage premium to return, along with the decomposition of the returnee-stayer wage gap using the Oaxaca-Blinder approach and an investigation of wage premium dynamics over time after the return. The results generally show higher returns from temporary labour migration for young people relative to older people, and among youth the share of the unexplained fraction of the wage premium is also higher. These results imply a stronger role of experience gained abroad on earnings for youth.
    Keywords: return migration, labour market outcomes, Central and Eastern Europe
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2015
  19. By: Eleonora Fichera; John Gathergood
    Abstract: We exploit wealth shocks arising from housing wealth gains to examine the relationship between wealth and health. In UK household panel data positive housing wealth gains lower the likelihood of home owners exhibiting a range of non-chronic health conditions with no effect on renters. For owners housing wealth gains change health behaviours: increasing use of private health care, reducing hours of work (especially for women) and increasing time dedicated to exercise. Housing wealth gains, unlike income gains, do not increase risky health behaviours such as smoking and drinking. Furthermore, house prices highly pro-cyclical. The positive health effects of housing wealth gains on home owner health over the business cycle offset the negative health effects of labour market conditions and work intensity.
    Keywords: health, wealth, housing wealth, house prices
    Date: 2015
  20. By: Michail Batikas (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Estrella Gomez Herrera (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This study compares the film catalogues among the 11 Netflix country stores in the EU that provide film streaming services to consumers on the basis of a subscription (SVOD) business model. We estimate cross-border availability of films in Netflix in the EU at 31%, somewhat lower than the 40% availability of downloadable films in the Apple iTunes stores in the EU. Availability patterns are to a large extent driven by consumer preferences and geographical and linguistic proximity. The average delay in availability between theatre and Netflix release (“windowing”) in the EU11 is 326 days, with wide variations across countries, compared to only 112 days delay in the US. Windowing delays are shortening for more recent films. For a sample of films in the UK Netflix catalogue we find that they remain available for 340 days on average.
    Keywords: Netflix, digital film, video on demand, VoD, film catalogues
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2015–11
  21. By: Maria De Paola; Michela Ponzo; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: We exploit a natural experiment based on the Italian promotion system for associate and full professor positions to investigate gender differences in the willingness to enter competition. Using data on about 42,000 professors and controlling for productivity and a number of individual and field characteristics, we find that females have a lower probability of applying for competition of about 4 percentage points. The determinants of this gap seem to be gender differences in risk-aversion and self-confidence and women’s fear of discrimination: the lower tendency to enter competition is especially relevant for women in the lower tail of the distribution of scientific productivity and in fields in which productivity is not easily measurable; furthermore, women are less likely to apply for promotion in fields in which promotions of females in the past were rare.
    Keywords: Attitudes towards competition, Gender gaps, Risk-aversion, Self-confidence, Discrimination, Academic Promotions, Natural Experiment
    JEL: J71 M51 J45 J16 D72 D78
    Date: 2015–12
  22. By: Thomas Michielsen; Remco Mocking; Sander van Veldhuizen
    Abstract: We study the effect of home equity and indebtedness on financial portfolio choices of Dutch households during the period 2006-2012. Using a large administrative dataset at the household level we estimate how home equity and the outstanding mortgage amount influence the share of liquid assets held in stocks. We apply different econometric methods to take selection and endogeneity into account. In our preferred specifications both home equity and the household’samount of mortgage debt have a non-significant impact on the risky asset share.
    JEL: G11 D14 R31
    Date: 2015–12

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